Australia v England, 2nd Test, Adelaide December 2, 2010

'I need to get my head straight' - Johnson

80

Mitchell Johnson will aim to straighten out the kinks in both his head and action after being dropped from the Test team for the first time - but he will do it without leaving the squad. Johnson, 29, is staying in the Australian camp despite being the only man cut from the 13-man outfit for Friday's second Ashes Test.

At a sombre press conference that felt more like Johnson had suffered a career-ending injury than a dip in form, he vowed to fight his way back. "It's not the end of the world," he said, sitting below an honour board on which his 5 for 103 against West Indies last year was the latest bowling entry. "I've come back from stress fractures when I was younger, with Queensland."

Johnson, who went wicketless in Brisbane, said he was looking forward to getting away from the hype of the Ashes to start the rebuilding, but he will remain on the fringes as he is counselled by Nielsen and Troy Cooley, the bowling coach. After being the attack leader for the past two years, Johnson will watch as Peter Siddle and two of Ben Hilfenhaus, Doug Bollinger and Ryan Harris start in Adelaide.

"In the last game I was trying to do all that work [on my action] during a game, which is obviously very hard to do," he said. "In the end, I need to work things out, go to net sessions, get back in the gym, get my head straight, and get back into the team."

It has taken 39 Tests for Johnson to miss his first game due to form or injury, but Ricky Ponting expects him to rediscover his often magical tough. "Mitch came into the side as a youngish guy as far as cricket is concerned," Ponting said. "He's had his ups and downs on and off the field. I've seen him get the better of a lot of things he has had to face the past few years. His record speaks for itself so I am sure we will see him back with the baggy green cap on pretty soon."

Johnson has 166 Test wickets at 30.08 and while he has starred against high-quality teams such as South Africa, he has flopped in his two campaigns against England. The troubles leading to this point began at Lord's last year, but he has been unable to sustain any improvements to his slingy action.

The coach Tim Nielsen said it was important for Johnson to fix his problems away from the middle, and hoped the revamped version would be shining in time for the third Test on December 16. "We're going to take the opportunity now to give him a spell and relax so he can hit the ground running and be as ready as he can be for Perth," Nielsen said. "We'll use every resource we can to ensure that he's ready to go for that game."

Johnson, who felt he was handling the demotion well, knew that he didn't perform when it mattered in Brisbane. "I'm a strike bowler for Australia and I need to get wickets," he said. "In the back of your head, you're sort of thinking [you might be dropped], but I think I've handled it pretty well."

In helping Johnson, Ponting talked out the times he was dropped. "There aren't many guys in the 11 who haven't experienced similar feelings that Mitch is feeling at the moment," Ponting said. "He's obviously disappointed, but we'll let him get over his disappointment and work with him to get him back to his best."

Johnson believes the episode will make him stronger. He has spoken about his axing with Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, Nielsen, Ponting and the coaching staff. What he does next is up to him.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • satanswish on December 3, 2010, 3:43 GMT

    Was his head bent until now?

  • montys_muse on December 3, 2010, 3:04 GMT

    It would be good to bring in a genuine opener instead of playing Watson as an opener. It would solve the no.6 problem as well boost the fragile top oder.

  • Ryteo on December 3, 2010, 0:28 GMT

    Since he has bowled closer to the stumps his form has dropped, get wider Mitch and let em rip you'' never swing em in so forget about it and just bowl fast, Lets face it though you don;t have many tricks up those sleaves. plus lets bring in Starc or someone younger and give him 10 years to be as good as you are

  • on December 3, 2010, 0:02 GMT

    Yeah he had a poor game but the thing with Johnson, one always feels as if he has a dangerous spell around the corner. There's been far too much emphasis on him and how bad against England he is. Well in fact he took enough wickets in the last Ashes series, but he was too expensive. We're only one game into this series and people have already written him off. Anyway, the real weakness for Australia is their spinner. Get rid of Doherty quick.

  • on December 2, 2010, 23:14 GMT

    Yeah he had a poor game but the thing with Johnson, one always feels as if he has a dangerous spell around the corner. There's been far too much emphasis on him and how bad against England he is. Well in fact he took enough wickets in the last Ashes series, but he was too expensive. We're only one game into this series and people have already written him off. Anyway, the real weakness for Australia is their spinner. Get rid of Doherty quick.

  • sharkey11 on December 2, 2010, 21:01 GMT

    i think dropping Mitch is a good thing, if he had another bad test in Adelaide then it seriously would wreck him. As for tonights test i think it would be alot tighter in repsects to bowling.AUS would want to get some aggression back as they are the home team and would want to remind ENG they are the Home team. The batsmen on both sides won the BRISBANE battle so its time for some moving bowling to ignite the ASHES or peolple will be going to beach early.

  • on December 2, 2010, 20:42 GMT

    He should do some meditation to get thoughts aligned.

  • jupiterlaw on December 2, 2010, 20:14 GMT

    Well, not just Mitchell Johnson who needs to get his head straight but Australia also need to get their head straight and come to the realization quickly that they can't take these Ashes from England - not with this declining team, not on this occasion. That the Ausses are still hopeful means that they had not understood the lessons that Sri Lanka had taught them only a few weeks ago.

  • on December 2, 2010, 17:29 GMT

    its just like giving him a break to get his basics right when he does so.......the batsman are going 2 suffer most brutal spells from mitch just like south africans had during tests vs australia in 2008 and 2009 johnson is a guy with a lot of aggression but lot matters the way he works on his technique over the next 2 weeks or so

  • on December 2, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    I guess johnson sould let his cricketing skills do the talking rather than his mouth. We have seen how he struggled in India and in his own backyard now....... continue like this and the day's not far of when western Australia will show you the gate......

  • satanswish on December 3, 2010, 3:43 GMT

    Was his head bent until now?

  • montys_muse on December 3, 2010, 3:04 GMT

    It would be good to bring in a genuine opener instead of playing Watson as an opener. It would solve the no.6 problem as well boost the fragile top oder.

  • Ryteo on December 3, 2010, 0:28 GMT

    Since he has bowled closer to the stumps his form has dropped, get wider Mitch and let em rip you'' never swing em in so forget about it and just bowl fast, Lets face it though you don;t have many tricks up those sleaves. plus lets bring in Starc or someone younger and give him 10 years to be as good as you are

  • on December 3, 2010, 0:02 GMT

    Yeah he had a poor game but the thing with Johnson, one always feels as if he has a dangerous spell around the corner. There's been far too much emphasis on him and how bad against England he is. Well in fact he took enough wickets in the last Ashes series, but he was too expensive. We're only one game into this series and people have already written him off. Anyway, the real weakness for Australia is their spinner. Get rid of Doherty quick.

  • on December 2, 2010, 23:14 GMT

    Yeah he had a poor game but the thing with Johnson, one always feels as if he has a dangerous spell around the corner. There's been far too much emphasis on him and how bad against England he is. Well in fact he took enough wickets in the last Ashes series, but he was too expensive. We're only one game into this series and people have already written him off. Anyway, the real weakness for Australia is their spinner. Get rid of Doherty quick.

  • sharkey11 on December 2, 2010, 21:01 GMT

    i think dropping Mitch is a good thing, if he had another bad test in Adelaide then it seriously would wreck him. As for tonights test i think it would be alot tighter in repsects to bowling.AUS would want to get some aggression back as they are the home team and would want to remind ENG they are the Home team. The batsmen on both sides won the BRISBANE battle so its time for some moving bowling to ignite the ASHES or peolple will be going to beach early.

  • on December 2, 2010, 20:42 GMT

    He should do some meditation to get thoughts aligned.

  • jupiterlaw on December 2, 2010, 20:14 GMT

    Well, not just Mitchell Johnson who needs to get his head straight but Australia also need to get their head straight and come to the realization quickly that they can't take these Ashes from England - not with this declining team, not on this occasion. That the Ausses are still hopeful means that they had not understood the lessons that Sri Lanka had taught them only a few weeks ago.

  • on December 2, 2010, 17:29 GMT

    its just like giving him a break to get his basics right when he does so.......the batsman are going 2 suffer most brutal spells from mitch just like south africans had during tests vs australia in 2008 and 2009 johnson is a guy with a lot of aggression but lot matters the way he works on his technique over the next 2 weeks or so

  • on December 2, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    I guess johnson sould let his cricketing skills do the talking rather than his mouth. We have seen how he struggled in India and in his own backyard now....... continue like this and the day's not far of when western Australia will show you the gate......

  • on December 2, 2010, 16:50 GMT

    Mitch = Albie Morkel

    Both came into their respective teams, made a huge impact and it took forever to get rid of them. Both are great when on song, but why would you want to pick a guy based on his potential when you have 100 others worthy of a spot based on recent performances?

    Cricket selectors the world over have started this trend where it seems easier to get into a national side than it is to get out of it.

  • hajje786 on December 2, 2010, 16:21 GMT

    One bad Test does not make a bad bowler. To drop Johnson, to my mind, is bad judgment. England showed class, and put every Australian bowler to task in their second innings batting. Clark also dropped an easy catch. The press, Chapell, and others singled out Johnson for criticism, which is unfair. I cannot see Johnson coming back to the Australian side in a hurry.

  • Amol_Gh on December 2, 2010, 15:23 GMT

    It's amazing how things turn out in LIFE1 It was only because of Mitch that SA weren't able to win the home series. Had Mitch been not present in that finger-breaking (ask Smith, Kallis) series, SA would have easily romped home. As an IND/SA fan, I was always tense whenever Mitch bowled in his spell. In fact he as great as Steyn in that series in terms of stats. But since then, one just has to look at how things have turned out differently for both the bowlers! After 39 tests, Steyn found himself in the list of fast bowlers who took maximum test wickets (200) in as minimum tests as possible, Mitch has been dropped.

  • popcorn on December 2, 2010, 14:13 GMT

    These are good signs for Australia. History shows that top class players like Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting,Simon Katich and Michael Clarke have been dropped, and have come back stronger - never dropped again.I compliment the Selectors for this bold decision. See how the much - criticised decision to drop Phil Hughes and replace him with Shane Watson, has got us a soilid opener, and an allrounder to boot - something most oppositions do not have.Remember when top class Damien Martyn suddenly retired after Adelaide in 2006, it did not affect Australia. They ripped through England.So Dougie or Rhino Harris will be the stars. Good luck Mitch, come back stronger - we'll wait for you. Like we waited for the greats I mentioned above.

  • jpa170478 on December 2, 2010, 12:52 GMT

    Enjoy cricinfo, but far too many immature comments coming from mostly Indian supporters, yes you are currently number one you have a good team not a great team, beat South Africa in South Africa and you may be on your way. But 2 draws with NZ, almost losing the 1st test at home against an average Australian team, not what I would call a great team. I still think South Africa is currently the most balanced team and has done the best job of transitioning players. I also love how competitive international cricket is at the moment.

  • Clyde on December 2, 2010, 12:43 GMT

    The headline '"I need to get my head straight"- Johnson' is somewhat simiilar to the quote from Johnson in the article "In the end, I need to work things out, go to net sessions, get back in the gym, get my head straight, and get back into the team." I would not like to think the headline was fabricated from the quote, but I don't see anywhere in the article where Johnson says, 'I need to get my head straight.'

  • on December 2, 2010, 12:41 GMT

    Talk about mollycoddling! He failed as an opening bowler, was demoted to first change. Strike bowlers don't allow that to happen to them. The thing about Johnson is that he doesn't have a good 'cricket brain'. Can you imagine Dennis Lilleee explaining after a Test match that "they worked out how to play inside the line I was bowling; that's why I didn't get any wickets." No. He would have adjusted immediately and known what to do. Strike bowler my backside. Johnson's out and I hope, for the good of the team, he stays out.

  • AAJS on December 2, 2010, 12:26 GMT

    Johnson is a pretty good bowler all told. However, the English batsmen have worked him out. Each time he plays against England he looks more innocuous and I certainly haven't seen him threatning anything other than his pre-match talk. He has said in the past that he is going to concentrate on his speed and bouncing people out.. only to fall flat on his face. He should get together with Hauritz as he too has the same issues..

  • on December 2, 2010, 12:20 GMT

    "I need to get my head straight" Long gone are the days of Lillee, Thommo & co who would be spitting nails & breathing fire at the mere sight of a pommie batsman. The mere sight of them would be enough to focus their minds and "get their heads straight". Todays bowlers have gone all guey soft - get some backbone man, go out & fight for your country - Aussies are well rid of Johnson, tell him to come back when he gets some animal, some killer instinct in him!

  • on December 2, 2010, 11:46 GMT

    SHARK 810 - most people would chuckle at your categorization of Shane Watson as a "quality" "quick", on both counts!

  • stuartk319 on December 2, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    IMHO Aus need Johnson firing; but can't pick him with his current lack of confidence. Bollinger is just going too well and will never complicate things. Why is everyone having a go at Hilfenhaus? Anybody who watched the last test would have seen that he had no luck at all in the 2nd innings. At worst he'll bowl accurately and I'll bet he takes 5 for at least once in the series if the selectors stick with him.

  • indianpunter on December 2, 2010, 10:34 GMT

    This is the ultimate irony. A week ago, he was aiming for Strauss' head !! Now he admits that he needs to get his own examined. When will these ignorant aussies learn to hold their tongues. Without Warne and McGrath, you are just not the same team. It is a hard climb from now on.

  • Gazzananda on December 2, 2010, 10:29 GMT

    I am happy Johnson has been dropped. He does need to get his head straight. He's a fragile character and cricket's a tough tough game. This will either make him or break him. My view is that bowlers should be selected according to the best likely performer for the particular wicket. Adelaide for instance is a difficult wicket and I for one believe that Ryan Harris and Doug Bollinger should play. Ben Hilfenhaus could do with a rest. If we made it clear to all bowlers in the squad that they would be picked on form and for the particualr wicket then the drama of being "dropped" becomes less intense.

  • Proteas123 on December 2, 2010, 10:10 GMT

    I think it is a bit harsh on Johnson. He is a dangerous bowler and most international teams would love to have him. A better option would be to get Wason bowling more like Kallis does in a containment role and that would take the pressure off Johnson who could focus on all out attack, which is when he is most dangerous.

  • on December 2, 2010, 9:35 GMT

    England 1 Australia 0. Why you may ask... Well England hasnt dropped any players from the Gabba test match! He's a rubbish bowler and will never ever be as good as Wasim Akram! I would even say that Mohammed Aamir is better than Johnson!

  • morethan20-20 on December 2, 2010, 9:32 GMT

    Wow, isnt it sad that there is so much commotion over dropping an under performing bowler... "he's not the messiah, he a overrated bowler who has been worked out ". It happens! but what a lucky guy to have played test cricket..who wouldnt give their right or left arm to have one test! Long live test cricket....its bigger than mitch

  • othello22 on December 2, 2010, 9:31 GMT

    Mitch seems confused about how he should be bowling. At his best, when he steamrolled South Africa a couple of years ago, he had genuine pace, bowling that awkward line across the off-stump to the right hander with the occasional one swinging back in. It was the low release point (caused by his unconventional round-arm action) and stump-threatening in-swing that was making the batsmen play at deliveries they didn't need to and the occasional lifter to keep them pinned to the crease. Now, suddenly his swing is non-existent, his pace seems pedestrian, his bouncers regularly go for four byes and he looks as though he couldn't hit the stumps if they were fourty feet wide and fifty feet high. He needs to go back to basics and look at what made him successful in the first place, because Australia needs him taking wickets at regular intervals if we're to have any chance of beating anybody.

  • RAVI_BOPARA on December 2, 2010, 9:22 GMT

    JOHNSON GONE AND SO ARE THE ASHES FOR AUSSIES!!!

  • bumsonseats on December 2, 2010, 9:14 GMT

    i think the guy at his best is a good bowler , not a great bowler. i heard Richie B talking about him been able to straiten the bowl to right handers, which he just cannot do, not many can. most of his wickets are bowled wide of off stump were the batters think ( im gunna climb into that) and r caught behind. it was his potential batting that keeps him in the team.the ashes seem to get the better of him and keeping him round the squad will not help, sent him back to WA to get some club/state cricket. same with North they they r waiting for Sydney with him. if england get passed the early oz batters the then 8,9.10,11 dont posses much batting. dpk

  • anver777 on December 2, 2010, 7:35 GMT

    All MITCH fans wait n see.... a strong character like MITCH got the talent & will come back with a BANG very very soon !!!!!!!!!! among the current all rounders lot still one of the best bowling all rounder in the scene. BEWARE BARMY ARMY !!!!!!!!

  • on December 2, 2010, 7:28 GMT

    Back to first class cricket with Mitch for a season ... He shouldn't have been picked in the first place.

  • SHARK810 on December 2, 2010, 7:08 GMT

    Johnson is overrated... one good series doesn't equal a good player... They should drop Doherty too and bring in Smith... even though Smith isn't a good spinner either atleast he can bat and you can use Clarke and Katich to bowl a few overs to mix it up... Watson should be moved down the order so he can be utilised as a bowler more... And Hilfenhous deserves some time on the bench as he is overrated too... Australias stongest team for the 2nd Ashes test would be

    1.Katich 2.Hughes 3.Ponting 4.Clarke 5.Hussey 6.Watson 7.Smith 8.Haddin 9.Siddle 10.Harris 11.Bollinger

    This side is perfectly balanced with 4 quality quicks, and 3 part time spinners and a batting order that is solid down to 8... It would be better to have a specialist spinner ofcourse but when the best available are guys like Hauritz and Doherty this is a better option. This side would win the ashes, I guarantee it.

  • on December 2, 2010, 6:55 GMT

    johnson u should retire from bowling.....concentrate on ur batting....u can be a good no. 6, 7 batsman. and being him next wasim akram......in dreams ppl

  • on December 2, 2010, 6:42 GMT

    feelin sorry 4 him he deserves to be in playing 11 hard luck............hope u come back

  • szkhan81 on December 2, 2010, 6:35 GMT

    You also need to get your seam position straight...it is not just about hitting the deck hard.

  • RJHB on December 2, 2010, 6:27 GMT

    Oh jeez, Neilsen you're at it again!! Johnson can be ready for Perth??!! Is that all he needs, two weeks off? And then he'll be right as rain? Fair dinkum, he needs to go as well!

  • PcDadda on December 2, 2010, 6:26 GMT

    "Ricky Ponting expects him to rediscover his often magical touch" - this will NOT happen, simply because Mitch Johnson NEVER had any magical touch. Remove the series against SAF and you'll see that he is just an average bowler - poor wrist position, no swing - no variety. Even he comes back the scope for improvement is limited !!!

  • on December 2, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    "Johnson has 166 Test wickets at 30.08".....but still dropped....kidding man....okk good, grt.., but, is there anyway we could get ths fellow in Indian team????? even if he wont perform in 5 matches then also we will sustain him and would do well in upcoming South African series......Saheer, Johnson, Sreesanth, Ishat....Hurrayyyyy....all pace attack and India win the series...:)

  • Arvind3 on December 2, 2010, 6:09 GMT

    He'll be back soon. Wish he could stayed in the playing 11. I'd say he needed someone good to bowl in tandem with...

  • on December 2, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    I definitely feel for Mitch, but I think it's the right decision. He is in very good company - Katich, Ponting, Clarke, Hayden, heaps of great players were dropped, and then came back stronger.

  • bigad2111 on December 2, 2010, 6:03 GMT

    "Johnson was hyped as next Aakram....which he is not....today I think Zaheer is the best left arm bowler in the world" So what? What has that got to do with anything? So no-one is allowed to even BE a left arm bowler now?????

  • ahmadhk on December 2, 2010, 5:54 GMT

    @ thomas: Zaheer isn't No. 1. Muhammad Amir is!

  • Aussasinator on December 2, 2010, 5:48 GMT

    He'll slowly shift into the batting all rounder mode, like Shane Watson. I see an injury related issue that's preventing him from bowling fully. It has to happen to those who bowl genuine quick. Bollinger, in any case is a better wicket taking bet on the slow pitches of Australia.

  • Dibs666 on December 2, 2010, 5:46 GMT

    Can Australia afford to go with another bolwer given it was only the 6th wicket partnership that saved them from a smilarly below par first innings as England? I cant see Johnson ever being a world class test bowler if he does not get his action right. Different for a one dayer but he just does not have enough control, which you need in test matches otherwise the batsmen will just wait for the bad balls. Being an English fan though I was devastated to hear he got dropped!

  • on December 2, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    For mine Johnson has always been used incorrectly. He seems more suited to a Flintoff type role where he is free to bowl fast & hit in the middle order. Why not play him at 7, leave out North, Bat Haddin @ 6 with Doherty, Siddle, Hilfenhaus and Bollinger the 4 dedicated bolwers.

    Seems a no-brainer to me.

  • sifter132 on December 2, 2010, 5:27 GMT

    With 6 good balls (and some poor shots) and injuries to Dougie and Harris, Siddle has gone from #4 or #5 on the pace pecking order to #1?? With one bad Test, Johnson has gone from the first quick picked and MOM for WA in his last match, with a century and 5fer, to being dropped?? I'm not sure I buy it. It will be good for Johnson in the long run, but right now I'm far from convinced Siddle is some kind of god and can be the first quick bowler picked. After all he went wicketless in the 2nd innings too - everyone did. Hilfenhaus has to be picked, he's the only fast bowler we have who can keep the runs down.

  • Nadeem1976 on December 2, 2010, 5:24 GMT

    Too soon. Here you go. First nail in the head of australia by england. First test first clamity. Lets see who is going to be dropped after 2nd test I think North Third test Helfinaush Fourth test Clarke Fifth and Final test Ricky ponting retiring. Come on guys, it was only first test, just let it go. You cannot fire your best bowler of last two years in first test match of the series, give him two three matches. Big mistake by australia.

  • Rohan0309 on December 2, 2010, 5:19 GMT

    Good move! Get Bollinger in! It'll make a world of a difference.

  • dcrowle on December 2, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    Not sure why Hilfy is being talked about being tossed. Our most economic fast bowler in a match where it didn't appear we could stop England scoring at all on a flat track. Got 1 of the 4 wickets that Siddle left behind. Out of an ordinary set of figures for the three quicks he didn't do too bad.

  • asillypoint on December 2, 2010, 5:15 GMT

    How the mighty have fallen, or crumbled. "They really look up to their captain Strauss and that's someone we need to target," Johnson said. "As their captain, if you can get him to crumble, their players start thinking the same way and start thinking negatively, so he's someone we're going after." Mitchell Johnson November 22nd 2010. Humility is an interesting and commendable trait.

  • on December 2, 2010, 5:06 GMT

    On a serious note, he should contact Malinga for some tips. They both are sling bowlers but Malinga is super-consistent.

  • landl47 on December 2, 2010, 4:59 GMT

    Johnson's problem is that it isn't just one thing. He's lost the ability to swing or seam the ball, so his straight balls aren't dangerous. He doesn't bowl good line or length, so he bowls too many balls that can be scored from or left alone. Finally, his pace has dropped; it's a lot harder to play someone who is bowling at 145-150kph than someone who is at 135-140. He needs to fix all three of those before he will become a legitimate test bowler again. I'm not sure, with his action and at age 29, he will be able to turn it around. It's very reminiscent of Steve Harmison, who was terrifying in 2004, but couldn't keep it together and was only marginally successful after 2006. Still, I wish him luck- though hopefully not too much luck till after this tour ends!

  • skkh on December 2, 2010, 4:54 GMT

    Unfortunate but necessary. I am sure Johnson will come back stronger. He needed to be dropped to sort out what was really wrong with him. All those who saw him against the South Africans know how devastating he can be, Smith and Kallis can vouch for that. Maybe too much meddling by the no good Neilson and company are to blame. Someone commented that Zaheer is a better bowler than him. That is total crap. Johnson is a strike bowler who makes the batsmen cringe. Zaheer is a bowler who uses the swing to his advantage and Johnson has pace that Zaheer can never have. Comparisions apart (something that the Indians love) Johnson is a bowler that Australia needs and needs badly and we hope he comes back stronger and we would be going for her here at WACA. Hilfenhaus too needs to be overlooked for Adelaide and let in Harris and Bollinger to the playing XI. And hope that Ricky takes a tough stance on North too soon.

  • simon_w on December 2, 2010, 4:49 GMT

    Does anyone else find this all a bit ridiculous? It's just as daft as all the seemingly interminable nonsense that surrounded Harmison. Thank God that's over and done with now. - btw...

    "he has starred against high-quality teams such as South Africa" == "he has starred against South Africa"??

  • OutdoorMiner on December 2, 2010, 4:46 GMT

    @Gilly4ever Hilfenhaus should of had Trott early on the first morning, don't know why no one appealed but it's history now. I thought he was unlucky in the test and bowled good spells. To say he was almost as bad as Johnson is way too harsh

  • mvkk on December 2, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    Jhonson is the wicket taking bowler and who attacked proteas, but with him not being able to find ways to collect wickets he is made to look like an ordinary bowler by the English. he needs to quickly find ways to get that nack of picking the wicking again, then iam sure ponting would be the first to pass on the leader role of bowling department to Jhonson..

  • shramiac1 on December 2, 2010, 4:24 GMT

    At LAST!!!!! THe selectors showed some guts and got rid of one of Australia's millstones! Welcome back Dougie. Now to rid the team of the hopeless North for Cameron White and sadly, Clarke has to make way for David Hussey. Clake's record is similar to North's, get nothing then save career with a century! Not to mention his 80 year old back! Hillfy probably has to go for Harris as well! Then Australia will have a great chance to win back the Ashes! But I respectfully disagree with Gilly4ever, Johnstone doesn't have the mental strength to recover from this. I wouldn't be suprised if he's finished at test level. He's been garbage for nearly 2 years now! Only way back in for him will be due to injuries to other bowlers.

  • cricketsimpleton on December 2, 2010, 4:20 GMT

    Legends say, form is temporary but class is permanent. Mitch is always a fantastic asset to the team. But the poorest thing is he became the irfan pathan of aussie team. But atleast, all is well that finally selectors wanted to take the cane on this brilliant but stubborn to learn student to concentrate again. I wish mitch should be back wearing his baggy green.

  • Rayza on December 2, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    It looked to me like Mitch was trying to be economical, which he is never going to be. Ponting and Nielson need to let him forget about his economy rate and just try to take wickets. When given his head rather than bowling to instructions he is the most devastating fast bowler we've got. Hang in there Mitch

  • SRT_GENIUS on December 2, 2010, 4:06 GMT

    Injuries should not deter a cricketer.

  • xylo on December 2, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    I hope Clarke gets the boot as well. He has failed multiple times as a batsman in recent times, and is only eating up a valuable spot in the Australian line-up. And what he said about Hussey and Bollinger about playing for their franchisees over their country was lame, and look at who is eating crow now!

  • on December 2, 2010, 3:59 GMT

    Its not a bad decision to leave Out Johnson and many ways a better way to get him with better frame of mind and straighten his game a bit and come back strong.. Its also good to see the pace attack is stronger with Bollinger, Harris and young pacemen who can take the attack in future..

    Its not Aussies who fought hard to take wickets in Gabba, English attack also leaked close to 500 runs.. So its always to have a fight for the place in the side and better for the team in many ways. i'd like to see Harris or even Johnson included for the Perth with Siddle, Hilfy, Bollinger & Harris or Johnson make the attack and North be the spinner and watson could make options as well..

    Go Aussie Go!!!

  • KBCA on December 2, 2010, 3:54 GMT

    i noticed his action had gone a lot more round arm in the first test and especially in the second innings. Johnson will be back but lets hope siddle hilfenhaus and bollinger can fil the gap til then.

  • I.Beecken on December 2, 2010, 3:51 GMT

    It is about time Mitch was dropped however I wouldnt have kept him in the squad, sorry to those who disagree but in reality he hasnt done much in a while. He should have been sent back to his state team or where ever a while ago but it took him to completely drop the bundle before someone finally made a descion. I cant believe they kept North though, the wicket in the last test was all about batsman error rather than good bowling & his batting matches Mitchells bowling. I dont mind bringing in of Bollingerto replace Mitch he certainly cant do any worse, I would have liked to see Smith brought in for North though. With the right help Smith could be one to watch for the future

  • on December 2, 2010, 3:45 GMT

    I think the trio should be ben, doug and peter. Ben bowled well in India. if I remember right Perth was where Australia lost to 'lowly' India..the no. 1 team in the world:):)...i think England has the bowlers who have a distinct advantage if the wicket is bouncy. I remember the legend Ponting saying that England will be destroyed at the Gabba. If it wasnt for THE MERCY declaration England would have been 620 for 1. Cant wait for Ponting the legend to be the captain to lose two ashes tours in England and one at home. Stuff that legends are made of:)

  • stationmaster on December 2, 2010, 3:44 GMT

    Awesome - time for Ryan or Doug the rug to get some thrashing from Cookie and Co. Roll on Adelaide !

  • chokkashokka on December 2, 2010, 3:42 GMT

    whoopidoo....can someone explain why so much is being made of this non-event? Some mediocre one series-flash-in-the-pan bowler on a mediocre team that is playing another mediocre team, gets canned and it is the headline taking-up half the page. Man..must be one those uneventful days in the cricket world...where is Pakistan cricket when you need it. Can't wait till December 16 when we will have something real to read. Peace out

  • markinperth on December 2, 2010, 3:36 GMT

    What a great opportunity for Johnson to bounce back. Well done selectors. I think in this case it will leave the left arm striker hungry, focused, and positively aggressive. If this decision was not made, MJ could play defensive, try to hold onto his spot. This is a better play. Bowlers need the pressure. The wielders of the wood though, need to be given space to perform over periods, not individual innings. Leave the batsmen alone, they can only mature with hours on the square and failures. Bowlers need creative competition... the selectors have produced this now. Sorry England, next time you see MJ (maybe Perth), you'll have to face up to inspired fire.

  • 2.14istherunrate on December 2, 2010, 3:35 GMT

    He just needs to get his English passport. That's all. Wouldn't want him in my side, but it's good to see he's on oiur side.

  • Scgboy on December 2, 2010, 3:32 GMT

    I concur webba, lets hope he uses the time away to get his act together. we all need to recharge the batteries sometimes. He's not the first player for this to happen to for sure ,lets hope he bounces back stronger than before.

  • eyballfallenout on December 2, 2010, 3:29 GMT

    I think Mitch is a great bowler, but lost his way and had a horrid time of it. As many know when things are down and we try hard it seems to just get worse and worse for you. Sometimes you need to break away, start to enjoy what you are doing and move on. I have no doubt in the future Mitch could come back to be one of our best bowlers. He has the skills inside they just need to come out.

    Start having fun again mitch.

  • Bollo on December 2, 2010, 3:25 GMT

    @Thomas Cherian. I'm with you on Zaheer, love watching him bowl as well. I'd rate him right up there in the top 2 or 3 bowlers of any type in the game right now.

  • PradeepR on December 2, 2010, 3:24 GMT

    This guy is a very over-hyped bowler. His action isn't any good to watch either. When he ends his career he might be remembered as an average bowler at best who can bat a bit.

  • on December 2, 2010, 3:18 GMT

    No Johnson, you don't need to get your head straight. You need to get the ball straight

  • needgreenpitches4bowlingallrounders on December 2, 2010, 3:17 GMT

    Why is johnson talking about "working about action during game" Now.When he was commenting on showing some chin music in his pre-ashes talk. Johnson is always media crazy australian cricketer. bowlers of Warne/Mcgrath caliber can give Pre-series talk and say whom they want to target.Johnson should have "worked on his action" instead of giving those comments. It will take another 2-4 years until these current crop can with there place and start thinking about Media. To get back into team:- Johnson needs to check his Action Look at how many times has was forgiven in verbals/sledging by match referees.

    For now bollinger,siddle,ryan should make great combination to take 20 wickets in 2 and half days.First Ashes test was awesome until final day when it became a predictable draw. TEST CRICKET IS BACK AT ITS BEST ODI was back at its best just one month back ...remember game 1 oz/sl and game 2 SA/Pak Hope this is not End of t20 lol let Ashes begin again its just 0-0

  • Iceborn999 on December 2, 2010, 3:12 GMT

    The right move has been made. Go back, learn to bowl again and come back stronger than ever.... If Mitch was to keep playing, Australia would of had no chance of beating England in these ashes

  • Something_Witty on December 2, 2010, 3:10 GMT

    All Mitch needs to do is a little bit of work on getting his arm a bit higher and making sure his wrist position is correct. If he can do that then he's a shoo-in for any side in the world right now. There's no problem with his fitness or work ethic, he just has a few technical flaws that he needs to fix. Hopefully he can do this and come back a better player for it.

  • Ozcricketwriter on December 2, 2010, 3:01 GMT

    I agree with dumping Johnson as he fell from grace very quickly. This does not mean he is gone for good. I would hope that he is back soon, maybe even for the Perth test, where his pace could be devastating. We do need to get our 2 best bowlers in the side though, those 2 being Bollinger and Harris, if we are to have any chance in this series. For me, it is a toss up of Hilfenhaus or North to be dropped, depending on whether or not they want to go in with the extra bowler. Hilfenhaus was almost as bad as Johnson, but Hilfenhaus mentally wasn't as devastated, which is the important thing.

  • on December 2, 2010, 2:58 GMT

    Johnson was hyped as next Aakram....which he is not....today I think Zaheer is the best left arm bowler in the world

  • Webba84 on December 2, 2010, 2:57 GMT

    I seem to remember something very similar from Johnson last time the Ashes occurred. Gotta feel sorry for the guy, looks like he hasn't made any progress on that over the last year. Hope he sorts it out soon.

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  • Webba84 on December 2, 2010, 2:57 GMT

    I seem to remember something very similar from Johnson last time the Ashes occurred. Gotta feel sorry for the guy, looks like he hasn't made any progress on that over the last year. Hope he sorts it out soon.

  • on December 2, 2010, 2:58 GMT

    Johnson was hyped as next Aakram....which he is not....today I think Zaheer is the best left arm bowler in the world

  • Ozcricketwriter on December 2, 2010, 3:01 GMT

    I agree with dumping Johnson as he fell from grace very quickly. This does not mean he is gone for good. I would hope that he is back soon, maybe even for the Perth test, where his pace could be devastating. We do need to get our 2 best bowlers in the side though, those 2 being Bollinger and Harris, if we are to have any chance in this series. For me, it is a toss up of Hilfenhaus or North to be dropped, depending on whether or not they want to go in with the extra bowler. Hilfenhaus was almost as bad as Johnson, but Hilfenhaus mentally wasn't as devastated, which is the important thing.

  • Something_Witty on December 2, 2010, 3:10 GMT

    All Mitch needs to do is a little bit of work on getting his arm a bit higher and making sure his wrist position is correct. If he can do that then he's a shoo-in for any side in the world right now. There's no problem with his fitness or work ethic, he just has a few technical flaws that he needs to fix. Hopefully he can do this and come back a better player for it.

  • Iceborn999 on December 2, 2010, 3:12 GMT

    The right move has been made. Go back, learn to bowl again and come back stronger than ever.... If Mitch was to keep playing, Australia would of had no chance of beating England in these ashes

  • needgreenpitches4bowlingallrounders on December 2, 2010, 3:17 GMT

    Why is johnson talking about "working about action during game" Now.When he was commenting on showing some chin music in his pre-ashes talk. Johnson is always media crazy australian cricketer. bowlers of Warne/Mcgrath caliber can give Pre-series talk and say whom they want to target.Johnson should have "worked on his action" instead of giving those comments. It will take another 2-4 years until these current crop can with there place and start thinking about Media. To get back into team:- Johnson needs to check his Action Look at how many times has was forgiven in verbals/sledging by match referees.

    For now bollinger,siddle,ryan should make great combination to take 20 wickets in 2 and half days.First Ashes test was awesome until final day when it became a predictable draw. TEST CRICKET IS BACK AT ITS BEST ODI was back at its best just one month back ...remember game 1 oz/sl and game 2 SA/Pak Hope this is not End of t20 lol let Ashes begin again its just 0-0

  • on December 2, 2010, 3:18 GMT

    No Johnson, you don't need to get your head straight. You need to get the ball straight

  • PradeepR on December 2, 2010, 3:24 GMT

    This guy is a very over-hyped bowler. His action isn't any good to watch either. When he ends his career he might be remembered as an average bowler at best who can bat a bit.

  • Bollo on December 2, 2010, 3:25 GMT

    @Thomas Cherian. I'm with you on Zaheer, love watching him bowl as well. I'd rate him right up there in the top 2 or 3 bowlers of any type in the game right now.

  • eyballfallenout on December 2, 2010, 3:29 GMT

    I think Mitch is a great bowler, but lost his way and had a horrid time of it. As many know when things are down and we try hard it seems to just get worse and worse for you. Sometimes you need to break away, start to enjoy what you are doing and move on. I have no doubt in the future Mitch could come back to be one of our best bowlers. He has the skills inside they just need to come out.

    Start having fun again mitch.